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George Russell

Russell ready for fight back after emotional Singapore crash

The Mercedes driver threw away a podium on the final lap last weekend.

Russell Japan
To news overview © XPBimages

George Russell believes his bounce back from crashing out of last weekend's Singapore Grand Prix on the final lap has been aided by previous difficult experiences in F1.

The Mercedes driver was hunting for just a second career victory at the Marina Bay street circuit on fresher, softer tyres than race leader Carlos Sainz and second-placed Lando Norris when clipping the wall in the entry to turn 10, ending his race in the barriers lining the outside of the corner and allowing teammate Lewis Hamilton to inherit the final podium position.

A clearly emotional Russell was unable to contain his frustration over the error in the immediate aftermath but is presented with an opportunity to bury the hatchet immediately at this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix.

On how he has dealt with the mental anguish of his crash, Russell told media including RacingNews365.com: "It's not the first time I have had a difficult situation like that.

"Through anyone's career, you have ups and you have downs and very thankful for having some difficult situations to bounce back from in the past because it helps me deal with these situations better.

"Probably 24 to 36 hours it takes to get over it and you've always got to take positives from a moment like that.

"Shov called me Sunday evening and said 'look, the only reason we were in that position to fight for a win was because of how incredibly you have driven all weekend, the qualifying performance you did and the pace you showed in the race, you gave us the feeling of how to fight for victory again so take that away from the weekend and not the ending'.

"So I take the positives, I am really pleased with the overall performance, I am not going to let a mistake of two centimetres cloud my whole weekend.

"I would prefer to have a weekend like that rather than being off the pace."

Imola 2020

Russell was similarly emotional after tangling with Mercedes predecessor Valtteri Bottas at the 2020 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix when driving for Williams.

"My 2020 moment in Imola was a similar feeling but I think Sunday night was tough because it was such a long, fatiguing race, the emotional rollercoaster of losing the position at the start, coming back through and being stuck behind Carlos managing the pace," explained the Briton.

"It was hot when stuck within a second of the car in front, you've got the hot air from the exhaust in front, you really feel that and it was mentally and physically draining... it was going to happen.

"It's obviously very annoying that it happened in the last lap but it doesn't matter if it's lap one or the last lap, we were pushing flat out to chase the victory.

"We are races and we weren't going to settle for that comfortable P2 that it would have been."

F1 2023 Japanese Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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